Polys and politics 2

September 7, 2007

Your editorial about the 30 former polytechnics that became universities ("An old club much improved by new blood", August 31) is slightly misleading. The 30 you refer to were the original 30 formed in 1970. Originally, when they were designated there were 29 named and one other institution in the North West that was unnamed at the time. This was in Preston, now the University of Central Lancashire. But at the time of redesignation as universities in 1992 the number of polytechnics had increased via the addition of Bournemouth and Humberside, together with the colleges of higher education in Luton and Derby. These were never polytechnics. Since then, there have been several other institutions added to the list. These also refer only to institutions in England and Wales. Several central institutions in Scotland (polytechnic equivalents) also became universities at approximately the same time between 1992 and 1994.

In Northern Ireland, Ulster Polytechnic became a part of the University of Ulster that was designated a university in 1984.

Allan Ashworth
Visiting professor, Salford University

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